The Independent's leading article the day the Synod completed its business is alive to the dynamic of the Gospel message and the contradictions of Christianity in a way that some within the household struggle to see, and importantly it is more than just critique. It is a proposal for an alternative path.
Some American Christians are claiming that they are persecuted by 'the secular left' and other 'self-described' Christians, writes Martin Marty. There are real issues about how particular faiths should relate in a crowded and tense world; but they will not be resolved by over-heated rhetoric, or by confusing disagreements in plural societies with the suffering and even death faced by minorities in other parts of the world.
Recent years have seen a string of controversies relating to freedom of dress. Muslim headscarves, Christian crosses and Sikh bangles are just a few of the items to cause controversy. Given the importance of clothing and appearance to personal expression and religious identity, why do we not see a united campaign for freedom of dress?
Revivals, awakenings, ethnic shifts, mobility, and religious marketplaces have always invited drifting, says Martin Marty. But recent Pew research on the US situation suggests that there is such a big quantitative shift that it amounts to a change in the quality of commitments.
Just over half of people in Britain now consider themselves Christian after a “sharp decline” in religious belief over the past quarter of a century, concludes a new academic study from the National Centre for Social Research
The Court of Appeal has turned down an appeal by a registrar who refused to officiate at civil partnerships and have rejected her claim that she was discriminated against because of her Christian faith. This is good news for all those Christians who are fed up of seeing Christianity used as an excuse for homophobia.
The General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Britain has urged creativity and variety in establishing both new local churches and 'fresh expressions' of church in communities up and down the country.
Christians have moved from non-engagement to engagement in politics, says Simon Barrow, but often in domineering and selfish ways. To argue for church as alternative community is not to advocate either 'secularism' or 'religionism', but the recovery of authentic Christianity in a plural environment.